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Old 12-18-2012, 10:33 AM   #1
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Loving ourselves without conditions...

I originally posted this in the "are you comfortable in your own skin" thread and the lovely Cindy suggested it might be good for it to have its own....so here, dear juddd buds!

My answer to the original question is a resounding "hell, YEAH!"

But I sure didn't come out of the box that way. For about the first 20-some years of my life, I hated my poor round body like poison. And I thought that was ok. Not only ok, actually GOOD for me, like it was some kind of motivator. Poor, poor younger me...I wish I could whisper back over the last quarter century in my sadly deluded ear. I would say, "oh honey. Love every inch, fold, crease and cellulitic dimple on your judged and hated body. Love yourself the way you love everyone else--without judgement, criticism, and hoops to jump through. That there's a prayer in Hebrew praising god for including so much beautiful diversity in his/her creations, and that there are as many ways to be beautiful as there are ways to do art. That your body is the home of your spirit for this lifetime, and deserves to be unconditionally cherished because there really is no place like home...and that nothing good ever came from beating yourself up, for any reason."

My christmas wish for everyone on this forum (and in the whole wide world, for that matter) is that we all choose to find peace in our own skin, right now, as is, without having to change a single thing about ourselves...

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Old 12-18-2012, 12:34 PM   #2
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Thank you for posting this Patty,

We are all too quick to find fault with ourselves. This is a timely reminder that we are all worthy of love, especially our own.
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Old 12-18-2012, 12:46 PM   #3
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I loved what you had to say on that other post i printed it off so it now hangs on my mirror at home,, and at the office,, and in the car.. can never have to many reminders
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Old 12-18-2012, 01:06 PM   #4
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Thank you for this reminder.
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Old 12-18-2012, 01:45 PM   #5
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That is a beautiful post thank you!
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Old 12-18-2012, 01:50 PM   #6
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I needed this today. Even at ~65 yo, I still have those issues.

Arlene
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Old 12-18-2012, 02:00 PM   #7
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What a lovely post. Thank you. I am going to print it out and put it by my bathroom mirror. I found what you wrote very moving and could benefit from reading it often and trying to live by it.
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Old 12-18-2012, 02:10 PM   #8
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Thank you for sharing these thoughts. So many of us need this right now.
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Old 12-19-2012, 02:52 AM   #9
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Bumping for everyone.
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Old 12-19-2012, 08:30 AM   #10
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Patty, what a lovely post. Thank you so much. Posts like this always make me analyze where I am in making progress towards improving my own self esteem.

Cognitively, I embrace those beautiful and wonderful concepts- that we are divine as we are. Somewhere inside me, there is still a disconnect between what I know to be true with how I emotionally feel.
Perhaps it is from years and years of being judged and hearing and feeling I was not good enough because I was overweight. I have dealt with so much rejection from people because of it- including my mom and brother, and men, and even strangers. I was often identified by my fat, so that is who I thought I was. I remember being 10 years old and I was at my friend's house. Her grandma was over and when she saw me, she said, "oh you are the little fat girl from across the street. Well, no cookies for you!" I guess that really hurt deeply, as I still remember it 50 years later!

Sometimes I feel like an iceberg. On the surface, I look like all the body trauma I have experienced hasn't impacted my life. I try to dress nicely and take care of myself, I exercise, I force myself to do things out of my comfort zone. But the remaining part of the iceberg, the majority that sits below the surface, is the pain I carry with me. It is hidden from the world, but it has a huge impact on me. For me, it has been the dealing with all the rejection I have experienced in my life due to my weight. When situations like that happen time after time, you start to feel that you simply are not good enough.

I hope that before I leave this earth that I will have healed my self esteem and released the pain from the rejections I have had. I do give myself credit for making huge strides in this area. I have gone through therapy and visualizations, and all sorts of things to heal, but I still hadn't bridged the two opposing sides of myself.

The road I am pursuing to heal this for myself now is actually a spiritual one. I am finding that road to be the most healing of all. The focus has been on releasing my worry about what others think of me. Less focus on the ego. In one of my classes they say that ego is the part of us that believes: I am what I have, I am what I do. I am what others think of me. All this is just an illusion. I am starting to really understand this on a deep level.

Sorry this is so long. I just wanted to share this because I think this could be a shared experience that some of the other JB's have gone through. I finally feel I am on the correct path to healing myself. Yes, I certainly wish it didn't take 60 years to get on the right path, but this has been a life long journey for me, and I finally feel I am doing it! I have chipped away at chunks of that iceberg that lie below the surface and am now seeing that big blocks of that ice are breaking off. I am healing!

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Old 12-19-2012, 08:39 AM   #11
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:13 AM   #12
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Absolutely ! Thank you for sharing that of yourself.
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:23 AM   #13
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Beautiful post, thank you.
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Old 12-19-2012, 03:26 PM   #14
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Beverley, that took some courage to write. And you put it so beautifully, thank you.

I am just so pleased to read that you are healing yourself.
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Old 12-19-2012, 03:46 PM   #15
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Beverly- I can truly relate to what you shared with us- more years of my life I have been thin, underweight or average- only a small fraction of my life was I actually overweight. I think from 1999-2003 and then 2007-2012. My mother however, saw me as fat as a child, which I truly was not and put me on a diet at 6 yrs old. All my school years I got a 100 calorie peach yogurt and 1 fig newton. At 16 I became Anorexic and went from a whopping 120lb (very fat according to my mother) to 90lbs. At 90lbs I too, saw myself as fat. In 1997 the sleep walk eating started and you guys know all about that, but I went from 90lb to 230lb in 15 mos! In 2003 I got myself together and got back to 112lb. My body actaully bounced back better than it is this time and perhaps I got the closest I ever was to being "kinda ok in my skin". This time my body isn't going back into shape the way I would like but I'm limited physically now and I wasn't in 2003. Like Beverly said there is a disconnect between my brain and my heart when it comes to accepting my physical self.

Patty- I pray to one day embrace the words you shared with us in the origional post and know that those words are my truth.
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:45 PM   #16
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beautiful post . Thanks !
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:46 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by sungoddess View Post
Patty, what a lovely post. Thank you so much. Posts like this always make me analyze where I am in making progress towards improving my own self esteem.

Cognitively, I embrace those beautiful and wonderful concepts- that we are divine as we are. Somewhere inside me, there is still a disconnect between what I know to be true with how I emotionally feel.
Perhaps it is from years and years of being judged and hearing and feeling I was not good enough because I was overweight. I have dealt with so much rejection from people because of it- including my mom and brother, and men, and even strangers. I was often identified by my fat, so that is who I thought I was. I remember being 10 years old and I was at my friend's house. Her grandma was over and when she saw me, she said, "oh you are the little fat girl from across the street. Well, no cookies for you!" I guess that really hurt deeply, as I still remember it 50 years later!

Sometimes I feel like an iceberg. On the surface, I look like all the body trauma I have experienced hasn't impacted my life. I try to dress nicely and take care of myself, I exercise, I force myself to do things out of my comfort zone. But the remaining part of the iceberg, the majority that sits below the surface, is the pain I carry with me. It is hidden from the world, but it has a huge impact on me. For me, it has been the dealing with all the rejection I have experienced in my life due to my weight. When situations like that happen time after time, you start to feel that you simply are not good enough.

I hope that before I leave this earth that I will have healed my self esteem and released the pain from the rejections I have had. I do give myself credit for making huge strides in this area. I have gone through therapy and visualizations, and all sorts of things to heal, but I still hadn't bridged the two opposing sides of myself.

The road I am pursuing to heal this for myself now is actually a spiritual one. I am finding that road to be the most healing of all. The focus has been on releasing my worry about what others think of me. Less focus on the ego. In one of my classes they say that ego is the part of us that believes: I am what I have, I am what I do. I am what others think of me. All this is just an illusion. I am starting to really understand this on a deep level.

Sorry this is so long. I just wanted to share this because I think this could be a shared experience that some of the other JB's have gone through. I finally feel I am on the correct path to healing myself. Yes, I certainly wish it didn't take 60 years to get on the right path, but this has been a life long journey for me, and I finally feel I am doing it! I have chipped away at chunks of that iceberg that lie below the surface and am now seeing that big blocks of that ice are breaking off. I am healing!

Beverly, it's beautiful to see a bit of the 90% beneath the water...your true beauty shines through your words. I am standing in a 1-person ovation for you, for your continuing on your path to self-acceptance, to being the one who defines your worth. What else could the path to love be but a spiritual path? And we get to things when we get to things, there's no timetable or measuring stick to adhere to, thank heaven. Like you, I was the little fat girl from down the block (with a name with irresistable and unfortunate rhyming potential, sigh). So many wounds from unthinking, insensitive and downright mean people. "You have such a pretty face; too bad..." is one of the oft-repeated messages that took up painful residence in my heart. Why is it so often women who are hardest on other women? Friendly fire, the worst...

Little fatty Patty is still living inside me; I think we carry every age we've ever been inside us, like the layers of a tree. We can't escape our earlier selves...we can only choose to embrace those girls and extend the all-encompassing love and compassion we deserved then to ourselves now. There's a part of me that believes all time is basically simultaneous, and that we can actually whisper that message of love and self-worth right down the years, and on some level it will be received by our younger versions, exactly when we most need to hear it...
--patty
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Old 12-20-2012, 08:19 AM   #18
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Thanks to all of you for being supportive of my story. I knew no one would understand better than the JB's. I don't share those feelings very often, but I knew there would be those who have gone through similar things.

Carly- I am glad someone understands that concept of the disconnect. It is weird how we always think of a mother figure as someone who will love you unconditionally and protect you at all costs. But mothers are just humans on the same life journey we are all on. It is very difficult for a young girl to feel like she is imperfect and flawed to her mother. If a mother can't love you unconditionally, who will? Having a mother who views you as the fat child is a definite challenge to overcome. My mom dragged me in to a department store to get fitted for a girdle (remember I am 60!) when I was eleven!! I was so devastated that I ran out of the store. I forgive her though because she was also tainted by societal views -- the way we see ourselves and the people around us is largely determined by the way we are told to see things. Most of us have been socially conditioned to judge a book by its cover, at least at first. My father told my mom that if she ever gained five pounds, he would leave her. So I understand her phobia that developed about weight. She was able to stay slim and trim throughout her life.

Patty, your words are so beautiful to me and really resonate.
I also got the "you have such a pretty face" or "you would be so beautiful if you would just lose weight". Sticks and stones may break your bones, but bones heal up pretty well, and a scarred up self esteem takes much longer!
You were Fatty Patty, and I was Heavy Bevie. *sigh* I actually share your belief that time is simultaneous and that we can whisper the words of wisdom to our selves. It is a beautiful concept.

I am glad you opened up this thoughtful discussion.
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Old 12-20-2012, 02:16 PM   #19
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Bev, Carly, & Patty,
Thank you for sharing this. I have always enjoyed all three of your posts and thoughts. This causes me much to think about when dealing with children and especially, our daughters. I love my daughter more than anything and would be crushed if I ever caused her hurt or self-doubt.

Although, I didn't suffer from cruelty when I was a child, I married into a family of men & women that spoke about anyone who gained weight. I gained and lost weight with both of my children and became sort of anorexic after my last child. I remember I ran 3 to 5 miles per day and never thought I could be thin enough although at this time, I was only 103 lbs. I see pictures of myself at 24 and wonder how I didn't realize at the time, that I had suffered emotionally and allowed it to control my thoughts? I believed that I had to wake up at 5:00 am every day to get a good workout in before working for 8 hours. Men can be crueler than women. 17 years passed and we divorced, I will never forget the freedom that I felt. The relief. Heartbroken, yes, but such relief. It was as if, I had been imprisoned for 23 years.
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Old 12-20-2012, 02:57 PM   #20
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Bev, Carly, & Patty,
Thank you for sharing this. I have always enjoyed all three of your posts and thoughts. This causes me much to think about when dealing with children and especially, our daughters. I love my daughter more than anything and would be crushed if I ever caused her hurt or self-doubt.

Although, I didn't suffer from cruelty when I was a child, I married into a family of men & women that spoke about anyone who gained weight. I gained and lost weight with both of my children and became sort of anorexic after my last child. I remember I ran 3 to 5 miles per day and never thought I could be thin enough although at this time, I was only 103 lbs. I see pictures of myself at 24 and wonder how I didn't realize at the time, that I had suffered emotionally and allowed it to control my thoughts? I believed that I had to wake up at 5:00 am every day to get a good workout in before working for 8 hours. Men can be crueler than women. 17 years passed and we divorced, I will never forget the freedom that I felt. The relief. Heartbroken, yes, but such relief. It was as if, I had been imprisoned for 23 years.
That was a powerful post for me. It gives me goosebumps to read you felt imprisoned for 23 years. Free at last.
I am grateful for the sharing of these stories as it makes me feel so much less alone.
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Old 12-20-2012, 03:27 PM   #21
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There were many issues that I believe caused me to feel trapped, but the need to stay thin was borderline obsessive and not healthy. His family wasn't the only condemnation, he had a controlling nature, insecure. The children were grown by the time that we divorced and it still bothers me that I allowed myself to be controlled to the point of being fearful.
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Old 12-20-2012, 04:49 PM   #22
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I remember when I began to gain to a noticeable amount that was clearly overweight...around 2001. I had started working as a supervisor in another area of the university. One day an irrate instructor came in and was yelling at the staff, and when I came out and tried to talk to her she called me Pillsbury Dough Girl. It seems so silly now, but that was the first "fat" comment I had ever gotten and it upset me terribly. Hate to say it, but she got the last word as I was so shocked I had no retort.
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Old 12-20-2012, 05:13 PM   #23
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I have things to add here, but I have to put my thoughts together carefully. Will be back tomorrow x
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Old 12-21-2012, 04:05 AM   #24
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I remember when I began to gain to a noticeable amount that was clearly overweight...around 2001. I had started working as a supervisor in another area of the university. One day an irrate instructor came in and was yelling at the staff, and when I came out and tried to talk to her she called me Pillsbury Dough Girl. It seems so silly now, but that was the first "fat" comment I had ever gotten and it upset me terribly. Hate to say it, but she got the last word as I was so shocked I had no retort.
Something is terribly broken in people who would even utter such words. To think that this is acceptable? Especially a supervisor, who has been in a position of authority.
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Old 12-21-2012, 05:46 AM   #25
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Yes, she was clearly in the wrong, and also mentally unstable from the looks of it, but the words still stung. The worst part was that my co-workers started laughing. It was funny, in a way, but I was heart broken.
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:15 AM   #26
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This is something I am working on now. I made a list of all the reasons I dislike my body and then I made a list to counter all those negatives.

Neg: People think/say bad things about me because I am fat
Pos: People probably think/say nice things about me because I am a nice person

Neg: My breast are so huge
Pos: I have nourished two babies with them. My breasts are healthy

Neg: I am not the small one anymore. All my friends are smaller than me now.
Pos: I may not be the smallest person I know but I can be kind and caring and giving at any size.

Neg: My stomach looks so gross!
Pos: I carried and birthed two lives in this body.

Neg: My husband would prefer me to be smaller
Pos: My husband loves me and is attracted to me right now. He is kind to me and encourages me

Neg: I hate my thighs! The jiggle and rub together
Pos: I can walk!

It was not easy to come up with that list and accept the positives. But I push the negative thoughts out when they rise up.

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Old 12-21-2012, 06:31 AM   #27
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Filly, what a great thing! Sometimes when thinking of ourselves, it's tough to see past the negatives and to the positives, and you did so beautifully. Thanks for that.
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:01 AM   #28
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Yes, she was clearly in the wrong, and also mentally unstable from the looks of it, but the words still stung. The worst part was that my co-workers started laughing. It was funny, in a way, but I was heart broken.
I relate so much to these stories and am so empathetic to the pain. It would hurt even if it was a monkey who said it. It is so important that we work on healing, isn't it.

Filly that is a great idea to look at the positives to it all. It is always our choice on how we view things.
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Old 12-21-2012, 10:55 PM   #29
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I relate so much to these stories and am so empathetic to the pain. It would hurt even if it was a monkey who said it. It is so important that we work on healing, isn't it.

Filly that is a great idea to look at the positives to it all. It is always our choice on how we view things.
I think hardly anybody gets out of childhood unscathed by some hurt to the soul. I know firsthand that it's possible to heal from those old wounds, completely and permanently; it takes some effort, but it's work worth doing, because nothing can take the place of being comfortable in one's own skin. For so much of my early life I was utterly convinced that becoming thin would get me that comfort. And then I did become thin...a number of times...and the comfort never materialized. Finally I came to understand that the comfort I was seeking would never, ever come from anything external, most of all from my physical appearance--the one thing destined to change with the accumulation of years, anyway. Surrendering that false road to peace freed me to find the true one, and here I am...a 52 year old Fatty Patty who smiles at her reflection and loves every bit of her little life, filled with gratitude for every experience, joyful and painful, that went into making me the person I am...
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:28 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by divinemsm54 View Post
Finally I came to understand that the comfort I was seeking would never, ever come from anything external, most of all from my physical appearance--the one thing destined to change with the accumulation of years, anyway. Surrendering that false road to peace freed me to find the true one, and here I am...a 52 year old Fatty Patty who smiles at her reflection and loves every bit of her little life, filled with gratitude for every experience, joyful and painful, that went into making me the person I am...

I Love this ! Beautifully said ......

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